Elvis Francois, a 47-year-old Dominican, survived more than three weeks at sea before being rescued in Colombian waters.
A castaway in the Caribbean Sea survived 24 days on ketchup only before being rescued in Colombian waters, said the naval authority of this country.
“I had nothing to eat, just a bottle of ketchup, garlic powder and Maggi (bouillon cubes). I mixed everything with water to survive for about 24 days,” said Elvis Francois, a 47-year-old Dominican, in a video released by the Colombian Navy.
The survivor had written the word “help” on the hull of his sailboat on which he was found 120 nautical miles (about 220 km) northwest of Puerto Bolivar, in the northern department of La Guajira .
“On January 15, I saw a plane go by. I had a mirror and I started sending signals” with the reflection of the sun, “when I saw it go by twice, I understood that ‘they had seen me,’ he explains.
The Colombian Navy quickly came to rescue him with the support of a merchant ship.
“Lost and Disoriented at Sea”
In December, while this resident of Dominica was repairing a sailboat in front of a port in Saint-Martin, an island in the northeast of the Antilles, he was “carried out to sea” due to bad weather conditions, according to a statement from the Navy.
“Without any knowledge of navigation, he was lost and disoriented at sea, his efforts to maneuver the ship and the equipment on board were useless”, adds the same source.
Several times, he tried to make calls, but in vain, for lack of network. “I couldn’t do anything but sit and wait… 24 days away from the earth, with no one to talk to, no idea what to do, or where I was. It was hard, for moments I lost hope, I thought of my family,” he said.
He was handed over to the immigration services so that they could organize his return to Dominica.